Good Video Game Music

I think we had a thread around recently arguing for the virtues of VGM. It died, mainly because no-one could really understand what they were arguing.

So let’s simplify. Just post some VGM (video game music) that you think is good.

I could probably make up a few pages worth of links, but here’s a quick one to start off: F-F-Fire is a little slice of awesome.

Anyone who loves old school bass playing and hip hop soundtracks has got to check out Toe Jam and Earl’s Stuff.

Toe Jam Jamming (Title Track)
The long full Introand some samplings of the in game music

And for the Nerdy Fans of the Game:

An Acoustic Guitar Versionof the Intro by a Fan (really mellow and kinda interesting actually though not quite the same towards the end)
Busta Rhyme’s Dangerousmusic video put to TJ&E Music (I hope more stuff like this is out there)

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had some incredibly atmospheric music, between the folk guitar songs played by the campfire, the music playing in the background on the radio (“Dirge for the Planet” by Firelake), and especially the moody main menu music (the crescendo at 1:00ish is gorgeous).

Of course, Portal’s “Still Alive” wins. :slight_smile:

Some old-school stuff:

The Moon from Ducktales. This somehow manages to be shrill and calming at the same time. And it’s got a sort of haunting mystery as well, all without losing a crowd aspect. It does a lot with a little.

Wily’s Castle 1/2 from Mega Man 2. This one got famous for a reason. It’s catchy, appealing, varied…

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins for PS1 had some of the best. You can hear it here on Youtube. “Execute the Corrupt Minister” and the “training level” music are a few of the best tracks, though all of them are definitely at the higher echelons of video game background music.

I just mentioned this in another thread, but I loved the ending credits music from Metal Gear Solid: I used to play the ending over and over just to hear it, until I could locate a CD on Ebay.

Silent Hill had some good songs:

Those are all theme songs, though. In-game music often doesn’t sound great when you listen to it by itself.

That first Silent Hill theme was obviously influenced by Portishead: There was a Portishead poster (or something like that) somewhere in the first game.

American McGee’s Alice:

strangely haunting music that fit the game perfectly.

Earthbound for the SNES had an outstanding soundtrack all around. When Ness walks out of the house at sunrise near the beginning of the game and it breaks into Onett’s theme, I get goosebumps. Also for the SNES, FFVI’s opera scene. Even the game version with all the MIDI goodness is amazing. For the PS2, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series has great Chinese themed classical music. The Shin Megami Tensei series also stands out. Persona 3 and Persona 4 have a great J-pop-ish sound track, while Nocturne, even though its a bit minimalist at times, does a terrific job of capturing the atmosphere. Final Fantasy Tactics on Playstation is great too. Stirring music for even the most mundane battles and it really delivers on the big moments.

SquareEnix generally does a terrific job, both before and after the merger. The Final Fantasy series especially stands out, regardless of what you think of the games.

[li]Donkey Kong Country[/li][li]GoldenEye[/li][li]Zombies At My Neighbors[/li][/ul]

How about some of that SID music? Ben Dalglish and Rob Hubbard are among the finest c64 composers out there.

And for best ever video game soundtrack: The Secret of Monkey Island. (Bonus: Played live by Press Play on Tape)

Just about anything Michael Giacchino’s done. I mean, y’know, surprise surprise. I saw a discussion on a message board, once, over who the best composer for a Captain America movie would be, and one of the strongest replies was for Giacchino—because he’d already written it.

Bill Brown’s work on Return to Castle Wolfenstein is an old favorite, too.

Sonic the Hedgehog “Marble Zone” sounds like the kind of music you’d hear in a European porno. At least that’s what I always thought. Start around 5:53 if you want to hear it. In general I think Sonic had some good music.
Nobody’s mentioned the big names yet (or maybe I missed them).

Legend of Zelda: Very memorable music that I still whistle or hum on occasion.

Super Mario Bros.: Water level theme? Underground theme? General Mario theme? Yeah, it’s good stuff.

I’m amazed at what some of those composers were able to do with so little.

The game Full Throttle had some good songs in it from the Gone Jackals. In fact my friend liked it so much he bought the soundtrack.

Silent Hill 3 had a tremendous soundtrack.

Wow, my years of geekiness can finally pay off in this thread! I’m kinda embarrassed to admit it (though not enough to actually stay out of the thread), but video game soundtracks make up probably half of my music collection. If anybody’s interested in searching for VG music, here’s some of my recommendations. No links, unfortunately:

Final Fantasy 6-8 (Others in the series are okay, but these three seemed to have the most variety among the tracks and are still the catchiest in my opinion)


Treasure of the Rudras

Okage (Called “Me And Satan King” in Japan, so that’s the OST you’d have to search for)

Almost any LucasArts graphic adventure, including Full Throttle and Monkey Island as mentioned above, but also The Dig and Day of the Tentacle

Pretty much every Castlevania game, even the old 8-bit ones

Pretty much every Mega Man game

Chrono Trigger

Shadow of the Colossus

The few music tracks that did appear in Half-Life that weren’t ambient were pretty good


WarCraft II

Katamari Damacy

All of the Time Splitters series


Generally speaking, graphic adventures, side-scrollers, and RPGs seem to have the best music. Not really sure why that is. FPSs usually don’t have a need for a lot of music and sports or racing games usually either use licensed music or just generic rock riffs on a loop.

Agony on the Amiga.

Tropico had some great songs. They weren’t written for the game itself, but still great songs.

Splinter Cell, Chaos Theory.

the entire sound track done by Amon Tobin. its a great album let alone a fantastic sound track.

:smack: How could I have forgotten? The Katamari Damacy series absolutely wins. Half the time I play We Love Katamari is just to lazily roll around listening to the music.

I used to catch my little brother dancing to the Revenge of Shinobi music.

We had the Killer Instinct soundtrack playing during open training in the dojo.